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Schmidt targets Leinster silverware

Guinness PRO12 Editor

10 May 2011

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is hoping he can bring silverware back to the RDS in just his first season in charge.

The New Zealander has led Leinster into the semi-finals of the Magners League and the final of the European Cup this season and is delighted that his side battled through to secure a vital home semi-final against Ulster this Friday.

"Right now, it’s a great position to be in," he told the Irish Examiner.

"It is never the same when you’re not still in the fight. We’re still in the fight and we’re home in the semi-final which is a massive thing for us. Four or five weeks ago we didn’t think that was going to be the case, a few other results went our way and we helped ourselves as well to keep our scoreboard ticking over."

"Against Glasgow on Friday we weren’t as good as we needed to be and maybe we were looking a little bit further ahead than we were entitled to. I think we ironed that out in most places in the second-half but I don’t think we can be waiting until half-time to be ironing ourselves out against a quality side like Ulster."

"It’s not an accident that they finished as high as they did. They’re a good side.

"Neither side needed to win that match. But now we do, because it’s knock out now, you don’t go further than that if you don’t win.

"Ulster were more tentative last time, coming back off a loss to Northampton, and we were probably on a bit of a high after beating Leicester, so our enthusiasm and momentum going into the game was probably better than theirs.

"But the momentum changed and they will take some confidence from that; with that confidence and quality of players there will be come trepidation for our guys. It’s all to play for."